Text: Silvia Cruz Lapeña
Photos: Suma Flamenca
Guest artists: Lucia Álvarez 'La Piñona' and José Maldonado
Special collaboration: “El Torombo”
Voice: Miguel Ortega and David Carpio
Guitar: Francisco Vinuesa and Pino Losada
Percussion: Miguel “El Cheyenne”
If you're injured, dance. If they have crushed you, shout. If the pride of being a man, a woman, or both, or neither dries up, put on a flamenco dress with long train. That's what Manuel Liñán does in “Reversible”, the work he presented in Madrid as the city was celebrating Gay Pride LGTB. The dancer celebrated big-time, and the audience thanked him applauding with hands and feet for several minutes.
With this work the Granada dancer recalls his infancy, full of games recreated in a complex duet with José Maldonado who was excellent. The show has a story line, that of a rope that appears at different moments, whether as a knot that bonds you to friends, or as a restraint that obliges you to love someone you have no feelings for, or as a ring in which to debate and converse with destiny.
The “Romance de la Monja” is the song that surfaces again and again, a common thread that holds the work together. Take note those of you who are unfamiliar with the verse, because it holds the key to Liñán's work:
My mother sent me to the nuns
to assure my dowry.
Four people took me
and put me in a coach.
They took me through the whole town
and one by one
I said goodbye
to my girlfriends.
We stopped at a door
and they made me go inside
They took my necklace
and all my jewelry,
and gave it to my father
in a golden bowl.
They took my clothes
and dressed me in a coarse tunic,
and everyone cried out
“poor innocent thing”.
The main figure in this story, who is neither woman nor man, lives under duress, humiliated at times, and from that rope that appears on stage over and over, he manages to free himself while dancing. After the game and the growth, Liñán gets into a sort of boxing ring to dance alegrías with Lucía “La Piñona”, who could not be more refined and precise, and he confronts, not exactly the woman, but the woman's role.
The singers warrant special mention. David Carpio, outstanding, Miguel Ortega, profound. Both were at the service of the work, they gave everything, and the audience responded in kind.
José Maldonado nearly stole the show from Manuel now and again, but it speaks well of the choreographer that he surrounded himself with brilliant talent. Liñán gave his all in tangos and soleá. With the former, he was humorous, and showed he's at his best the more energy he expends, and with the latter, he flaunted his skirt and shawl, which is no disguise, nor even a symbol. It is a shout, not for help, but of self-declaration.